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  1. #1
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    Bike Suggestion for 375 lb rider on a budget?

    Hey guys first off this forum has been great. After lurking for sometime and trying to figure out some of the basics I would like some suggestions. I'm 6'2' 375 ish and I am looking for my first bike. I ride motocross and dirt trails which helps me maintain my weight, but im ready to get my arse back into shape for good. Therefore, im dropping the motor and basically making a major lifestyle change.

    All of this is new to me and a bit overwhelming so maybe you guys can help me out on bike selection. I have a $500 budget and trying to get the most durable bike I can for the money. My LBS has been telling me that I should be fine on pretty much any of the mountain bikes and that they are made alot stronger than people think. After reading this forum im not so sure, I need to stay in my budget, but I won't have the money to repair the bike after every ride. What would you guys suggest in this price range?

    I like the Hardtail Cannondale Trail 6, would this be a bad fit? Should I be looking at jumping bikes for more durability?

    Thank you in advance for any help. It is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Good for you, Damien. In that price range, I'd look for a used
    Kona Hoss. or Surly Instigator.

  3. #3
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    I'm having a tough time finding anything used. Is there a new bike in my range that would work for awhile?

  4. #4
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    Surly Instigator. Eg. Minneapolist Craigslist has 2 current ads for mediums. Frames no longer made but Surly still makes forks. I'm bigger than you. I just bought a small Instigator frame and fork from Phoenix Craigslist and 2 Large Marge 24" 32H from JensenUSA on closeout. Bikeman.com also has a Large Marge 24" 32H on sale. With Large Marge 24" there are limited tire options, eg Schwalbe Big Apple HS 338 Fatty Bicycle 24"x2.35" and Felt Berm Master Tire 24"x3." More size options with26" Large Marges. The 1.5" downtube makes the Instigator very strong and the large marge rims are incrediably strong. A heavy combo. After you loose the weight you'll have more options and you can sell the instigator and large marges to another clydesdale. To save $$ start with the pre-built instigators and add the rims if/as needed.

  5. #5
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    Take a look at a Specialized Hardrock, its within your budget and should be a good starting point that can be upgraded if you wanted to do that in the future.

    I am 350# currently and try to stay away from used bikes because of my weight, knowing how the bike was treated means a lot to me and with a used bike there is not really a way to tell. Not that there is anything wrong with a used bike I do own a couple but having the piece of mind that its a new bike and knowing how its been ridden is big for me, that and a Hardrock is within your budget so why not.

  6. #6
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    Anything in the $500 price range new will have a cheap fork that will have no chance at supporting your weight. In fact, it could be a hazzard as forks in that price range use cheap hi-tensile stanctions that are usually only 28mm in diameter. So at bare minimum, you need to have a discussion with your LBS about putting a rigid steel fork on whatever you get.

  7. #7
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    Anybody tried the Worksman? They claim a 350lb wieght limit, with up grades to 500. With a 20" frame, it is a little small for me, but I looks like it should handle the weight OK. At $310 it has room for some up grades.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nietz View Post
    Take a look at a Specialized Hardrock, its within your budget and should be a good starting point that can be upgraded if you wanted to do that in the future.

    I am 350# currently and try to stay away from used bikes because of my weight, knowing how the bike was treated means a lot to me
    I'm 6'3" 300 and ridng a Specialized Hardrock 29'r now. I'm having trouble breaking spokes in the back wheel (twice in 6 months). I do not ride a lot of technical stuff, rail trails crushed limestone, etc. Any suggestions on beefing up the rear wheel?

  9. #9
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    I'm afraid at your size it will be nearly impossible to find a bike in the $500 price range. Wheels alone will cost $300, at least wheels that will safely support you. Unfortunately for us clydes, we have to spend money to get something that will last. Mtnbiker72 is right. Check with a bike shop. I'd go rigid to save money, and buy an excellent set of wheels.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.here View Post
    I'm 6'3" 300 and ridng a Specialized Hardrock 29'r now. I'm having trouble breaking spokes in the back wheel (twice in 6 months). I do not ride a lot of technical stuff, rail trails crushed limestone, etc. Any suggestions on beefing up the rear wheel?
    Right now as of this morning I am 352 pounds and stand 6'4'' tall, I have ridden an old Rockhopper comp and a K2 Zed since 2009 and have never had an issue with spokes or wheels on either in that time, they both have 26 inch wheels on them maybe that's the difference? I am not sure as I have not had to do anything to the wheels yet.... of course now that I've said it

    I mainly ride rail trails as well, a typical ride is in the 18-25 mile range and have racked up a lot of miles since 2009. My weight has been between 300 and 365ish in that same time and I trashed the BB on the K2, bent a seat rail and broke a resin pedal but otherwise any of the other changes to the bike were not due to me breaking something because of my size.

    I am not saying that us bigger folk don't need to think about these things but I am also in the mindset that buying a bike and actually getting onto it is critical to biking

    just my experiences since getting back on a bike

  11. #11
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    at that price range it's hard to find something good... buying online will get you much better bang for your buck but will it fit is always the question (especially if you are new to riding and don't know what size to get)

    anyway in this price range you'll deff want a rigid fork... talk to the shop about a swap...

    V brakes are OK for starters... but provisions for discs when you have money are a must (can run mullet with disc up front and V's out back)
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nietz View Post
    Right now as of this morning I am 352 pounds and stand 6'4'' tall, I have ridden an old Rockhopper comp and a K2 Zed since 2009 and have never had an issue with spokes or wheels on either in that time, they both have 26 inch wheels on them maybe that's the difference? I am not sure as I have not had to do anything to the wheels yet.... of course now that I've said it
    Thanks for the input. I went to my LBS and he thought it was odd I was breaking spokes as well, even with my prodigious girth. We talked for awhile and I ended up buying a WTB Speed Disc, hopefully the problem goes away. If nothing else my wallet is lighter so that's less weight on the rim right? :-)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.here View Post
    I'm 6'3" 300 and ridng a Specialized Hardrock 29'r now. I'm having trouble breaking spokes in the back wheel (twice in 6 months). I do not ride a lot of technical stuff, rail trails crushed limestone, etc. Any suggestions on beefing up the rear wheel?
    I had some problems popping spokes on my redline d440 29er... cheap machine built wheel... rode MOST of my miles on that bike on the road... and every spoke I popped was on the road... once they start popping (they all broke from the hub side) it's a matter of time before the next... and the next... and the next... only way to really prevent it is start over with new spokes and have them properly built... but if you are going to do that just go custom...

    you can get new machine built wheels to last a lot longer if you have them semi hand built (de-tension and then re-tension properly with a gauge)

    if you really want something strong though move to a good hub, good rims, 36 spoke with a quality name brand double butted spokes and brass nipples and have them built by a reputable builder (my LBS is THE place to get them built in the southeast... shops as far as LA, AL, GA and further out in FL have him build them... its what he's known for...

    I put many miles on a 29er wheelset built to those kind of specs and only had to true them once in the 2 years I had them (330#-300 most of that time)

    and yes 26" wheels will be "stronger"... but properly built 29er wheels are plenty strong
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the input Donalson!

  15. #15
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    looking to purchase a new 29er bike too and get back to pedaling...i'm 5'9" 270lbs

    specs hardrock sport disc
    db overdrive comp
    trek wahoo disc

  16. #16
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    Hello fellow heavys ! Newbie here . . . .

    At 300 all American pounds ( down from 400 lbs, 14 months ago ) I qualify as a heavy heifer.
    Additionally, I’m 6 foot 7 inches barefooted, big & tall !

    Need a “Tall” bike, looking for a 29er, rode the Trek Marlin w/19” frame at a LBS, they of course recommend the tallest frame ( 22.5)

    So many choice’s if you have 2000.00, but I’m thinkin 500.00

    Specialized Hardrock (or) Trek Marlin ( both in my price range )

    Is there much difference between these?
    Marlins seem to have a higher frame, more horizontal than other similar frames/bikes, I kinda like that look better,
    They also have locking suspension fork, seems like a nice feature
    Also love the color green that marlins have.


    About 3 weeks before I have enough pizza delivery tip money to pull the trigger


  17. #17
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    If you can find one - an old Haro 8.2 should be in your budget - and a durable bike.
    I was gonna stop by and see you, but the Jehovas witnesses came by. When they left I started drinking. Voicemail from Paul

  18. #18
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    hey guys

    hey there also a newbie here this is a quick hello there

    im looking at losing a bit (read lot) of weight currently 6'1 and roughly 24 stone which is 330ish lbs im looking at getting into cycling to help get fit and lose some of those extra lbs

    im in the uk so some of the brands mentioned arent available here although turner is and a few of the others but at significant prices im not on to low a budget but i would like something that isnt going to feel to flimsy under me and im also happy to buy 2nd hand and maybe upgrade as needed athough ide prefer to get something that will give me a few weeks/months riding before i have to spend significant money's

    i have seen a couple of turner dhr bikes on e-bay and was wondering if that is a suitably strong frame to build upon or am i better looking at something else

    oh and budget anywhere between £500 - £1000 roughly obviously cheaper is better but happy to spend as needed

    cheers all jason

  19. #19
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    There are some major difficulties in finding a complete bike in the $500 range. As mentioned, the fork is going to be the most serious flaw. The wheels are going to be cheap with breaking spokes.

    The best way to do it is to build your own. I would get an On One Inbred 456 frame and look around for some deals on components. I swear by air forks since I could never find a coil that worked for my weight. Going that route, though, will not be in your $500 budget. It is, however, quite possible within a $1000 budget. I would strongly recommend you save a little more to make it possible for you to buy a good bike that you won't have any problems with. A properly built bike is going to be much more enjoyable, and you will ride it more often. In other words, don't waste your money on a cheap bike that you won't ride.

  20. #20
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    Last fall I bought a new leftover Giant Yukon. It isn't as light as the xtc, but I've been told that the extra weight is due to thicker tubing- not a bad thing when you're packing a few extra lbs around the waist, right? It met the requirements laid out for me by a couple friends who know their stuff: Double-wall wheels, cassette/freehub (no freewheels), disc brakes, a rear derailleur free of plastic parts and proper fit.

    I was pushing 300# at that point, and a total noob when it comes to mountain biking. If you are heavy and just getting (back) into this deal, you are probably more likely to go over the bars and hurt your body than you are to huck it off a 3 foot drop and taco a wheel.... I know I was. Get SOMETHING, get out, and ride it.

    I have been working on upgrading my bike as I go- it was originally equipped with a Dart1 fork. While that model seems to have the rigidity of a wet noodle, I cranked up the preload and rode it- it served me well for learning. A friend gave me a Marz Dirt Jumper that has added some damping to the mix, as well as a 20mm through axle and tons of rigidity. It also required a new front wheel, so I bought a set. Slowly but surely, the bike is coming together, and I REALLY enjoy riding it.

    Skills are getting better, endurance is getting better, and the pounds are finally starting to disappear... just in time for winter.

    on edit- forgot to add that the bike was $550 about this time last year. Great time of year to get a good deal. Grab something, and RIDE!

  21. #21
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    Hi Damien,

    I'm in your boat. I'm 320lbs and 5'11" and I'm considering getting the "Trek Marlin Gary fisher SS" it's a 29 hardtail. It retails about $560. If any one has any more info about the marlin any and all info. would be greatly appreciated. Hope this helps!!

  22. #22
    Your bike is incorrigible
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    Damien, check your mailbox. I sent you a pm.

  23. #23
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    first off i am sorry to post on a current thread but at this point i can not create a thread.

    oddly so much has changed with bikes since i worked on them with my grandfather in his bike shop, this will date me some but he used to complain about mag wheels and how we are now ruining the good ole fashion bike.

    anyway recently i was fixing up my sisters magma mountain bike, i think its a decent bike but the brakes especially the back had a desing issue and really couldn't be used, so i got her new brake (cheap ones but ones that work for her needs), new tubes and a new chain, yes her bike was abused by being left outside without being used.

    anwyas working on the bike and such made me ponder about getting a bike to ride a few times a week to help in losing weight and here's my delima.

    i'm looking at getting 2 or 3 bikes for the rest of the family but they all have to be cheap, and i hope to be able to do so for christmas.

    the bike for my sister and mother don't have to be anything but a standard bike so i can find them pretty cheap at the box store (cough cough walmart).

    i found what i thought was a decent bike for myself there as well about 220 bucks think it was the mongoose deceptive or something like that. i liked the way it looked dual disk brakes, etc.

    my problem is that i am a big guy roughly 6'3" so i am pretty tall but my issue is my wiehgt, i gained a bunhc of wait when i had back problems a decade ago and never lost it, i hope to be down to 350 by xmas currently running 380ish but i also know the begining weight loss is quick then slows down.

    i'd expect the bike would last a decent amount of time until i could get a better bike. i can't afford to go out and get a better bike so its either this or nothing. my sisters and mother is getting bikes in the 80-130 range.

    do we need mountain bikes probably not but they seem to be cheap and i'll let them pick out the ones they like. for me i've not seen good ones at walmart thats not a mountain bike thats not 29" or 700c that i like. and why or when did the 700c (or the rest of the c's), just something else to confuse people i think.

    so my real questioin is given my price range of $200 can i get a bike thast goign to last at least a year or two. hopefully by chrismtas i'm below 350 and by next may i want to be around 300, and i think once under 300 most bikes are fine and stable.

    the riding habits are goign to be easy so to speak.

    there are bike trails most of which it think are smooth and or paved. i really won't be taking these off road (i'm too accident prone to risk that) not that i've ever had an accident on a bike, belive it or not as much as i rode them as a kid i've never had a bike wreck.

    but i'm looking at starting to ride two or three times a week, just to get out there and get out of in front of the computer for a few hours a week. perhaps when i start i'll start doign it more and more i don't know. i am not even sure if i want to go riding as a family or just on my own, i am sure in the begining i might be the slow link so if we did i'd probably tell them to ride a head and i'd just catch up or something.

    so my real question is if that bike is goign to work for me. i don't need anything top of the line and i know with my weight i'd expect any braking system to take longer to stop me and i'll compensate for htat as well as i can.

    i just don't want to have problems with the frame, crank, wheels, etc. if i can get it to last perferrably two years then i might be able to get a better bike. i'm thinkin iwth my riding style i should be ok but i'd prefer some suggestions that don't involve spending more money becasaue that just isn't goign to happen, my budget for my bike is $200 max, i really was hoping to spend 300 on all bikes but in looking into it i discovered i need something more than a standard bike, perhaps i'll get lucky and i can get a cheaper bike that owuld help out.

    now if there is another bike thats within that same range (right around 200 give or take a small amount) thats better and i would love those suggestions.

    thanks

    ryan orlando florida

  24. #24
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    Ryan,

    That's going to be a tough sell...... I'd tell you to start looking at pawn shops in your area and craigslist. The problem with those places is they won't know anything so your going to have to do the research on any bikes yourself. So make sure you know what size of frame fits you and try to get double sided rims.
    Hope this helps take care!

  25. #25
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    +1 on Craigslist. Your best bet is a rigid steel MTB from the 90's. They can usually be found from ridiculously cheap to cheap. Those bikes are heavy, but so are most of us!

    Your first upgrade will probably be wheels (after the stock ones go). I'd recommend some XT hubs laced to Rhyno Lite hoops for off the shelf wheels. Go blingy frame and hand laced wheels after you drop some weight.

    Good Luck!

  26. #26
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    thanks for the replies,

    i'll be checking craigs list esepcially when i get around to being able to make the purchase.

    what does MTB stand for?

    like i said i used to work on bikes with my grandfather at his shop but that was in the mid to late 80's and i was not concerend back then about weight limits,

    although when fixing my sisters bike i did miss his setup for everytrhing and tools and his customized tools he had made for bike repairs.

    anyways when it comes to a bike and fitting i am a little confused. i know some bikes have bigger tires and such but other than tires are the frames really any bigger (except where to accomedate a bigger tire).

    i had 2 10speeds when i was younger and those seemed big enough for me, oh i'm 6'3" and have been since the start of 6th grade odd time to stop growing, even odder considering in 5th grade i was a foot shorter,

    anyways, let me ask a couple more questions

    first back to the walmart bike, lets say i can't find anythign on craigs list thats suitable, in my price, or close enough to me, would that bike last or a similar model for couple of years?

    for bikes on craigs list and such, exactly what should i be looking for, how many 6'+ people here ride 24 or 26 inch bikes, and my understanding is the 700c bikes are 28 inch.

    i wish i had my grandfathers swinn, that beast would support me still and my jeep. great bike it was, old he always said the bike was built between 1900-1930 he was not sure, it was big, comfortable and had i swear spokes as thick as pencils but it was also a very large bike which i remember seemed rare to find another bike that size around.

  27. #27
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    Ryan,
    MTB = Mountain Bike.
    If you go with an inexpensive new bike I would still look around for a "real" bike shop that carries cheaper bikes and pay a little more for the advice in getting a properly fitted bike.
    Just my 2c, good luck!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RidinginSF View Post
    +1 on Craigslist. Your best bet is a rigid steel MTB from the 90's. They can usually be found from ridiculously cheap to cheap. Those bikes are heavy, but so are most of us!

    Your first upgrade will probably be wheels (after the stock ones go). I'd recommend some XT hubs laced to Rhyno Lite hoops for off the shelf wheels. Go blingy frame and hand laced wheels after you drop some weight.

    Good Luck!
    Any particular models you'd look for?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by swft51002 View Post
    Hi Damien,

    I'm in your boat. I'm 320lbs and 5'11" and I'm considering getting the "Trek Marlin Gary fisher SS" it's a 29 hardtail. It retails about $560. If any one has any more info about the marlin any and all info. would be greatly appreciated. Hope this helps!!
    Been looking for weeks now & keep coming back to this Marlin, New @ about 580.00

    Thing is I'm so tall @ 6' 7" I need/want the tallest frame. finding these used is rare

    Gonna keep looking for a few more weeks, If I can't find one used,
    ( did find a Marlin used @ 550.00 with smaller frame, only 30 dollars from NEW ! )
    Gonna be going back to my local LBS with cash !


  30. #30
    native.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwo View Post
    Any particular models you'd look for?
    I personally like the early 90's steel Stumpjumpers. I have one currently set up as a commuter with some 2.35" Schwalbe Big Apple slicks. Steel Rockhoppers from that era are also nice as the geometry is not as aggressive as the former. Best thing is to get something and ride it till it breaks, the bike that is.

  31. #31
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    I am 6'2 280 just getting back into biking. I am the kinda guy that probably will never be below 215or 220 again. I am not in bad shape but my size makes me wounder about what kind of abuse I can put CC hardtail through. I have mountain biked before but I came from a BMX background. I just recently rode the new trails at cuyuna in Crosby MN, and had a blast on a rental rocky mountain, with all that said I would like some advice on what would be the best bike for my weight for around 1500.00. Please keep in mind I am hard on things and would like something that will last and is upgradeable.

  32. #32
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    Rush29,

    Did you get the Marlin? If so how does it feel and ride? Any info would be awesome. Take Care!!

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    need bike no budget, 6-4, 340 lbs. road and trail, durability

    I haven't ridden a bike in 40 years. I want to ride the hard pack dirt and paved bike paths in South Orange county. I want a durable bike that won't fall apart. I don't mind spending money for quality, but I want value for my money. I'm not a pro, so I don't need the greatest speed components. I don't want to build a bike. I want a new bike so I know it has good karma. I don't want those cheap squeeze type rubber brakes they used to put on 10-speeds when I was a kid. I don't need a lot of gears, but I need more than one gear. I want handlebars where I can sit up and catch wind. I want a bike with a big frame and not just jacked up seat and bars. Can someone offer me suggestions? I thank all who do and also the readers of this post. Sorry for intruding on this thread, but the system won't let me start a new thread. I live in Laguna Hills. I'm afraid to go to a bike shop because I believe they'll try and sell me what they want and not what's best for me. I had a bad experience at a schwin dealer when I was a kid.Thanks

  34. #34
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    General suggestion for Super-Clydes on a budget

    At $500.00, no MTB with front suspension is going to have a fork that will withold a 300lb + rider. Not for any period of time, at least. Check out some of the rigid 29ers out there. Specifically look at leftover models of the Redline 29ers, the D440 and D600. Others in this thread have mentioned this bike, and while the spokes are definitely an issue (friend of mine has had similar problems with spokes breaking) it's probably going to be one of the better options in this price range.

    Beyond the Redlines, check into other similar bikes with rigid forks.

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.here View Post
    I'm 6'3" 300 and ridng a Specialized Hardrock 29'r now. I'm having trouble breaking spokes in the back wheel (twice in 6 months). I do not ride a lot of technical stuff, rail trails crushed limestone, etc. Any suggestions on beefing up the rear wheel?
    which hardrock are you riding, the disc 29 or sport disc 29?

    @ OP if considering hardrock id suggest the sport disc 29. im considering that myself being at 310#s because of the avid bb5 brakes and 36 spoke rims and ive heard good things about it from other big people. its a little more expensive than the disc 29 but considering the price youd pay for just decent 36 hole rims will probably make the price equal or more than the sport. and as Call_me_Clyde stated forks can be a issue and should look for a bike with a lockout since at this price range theyre all going to be similar it seems. or as hes suggest buy a rigid fork too.

    edit: oh and id suggest whatever fork you go for stay away from carbon as for us big guys theyre much more likely to fail under us than steel/alu.
    Last edited by gillotte; 11-03-2011 at 12:20 PM.

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    oh and to be honest even walmart bikes can hold us big guys but, and its a big but, i wouldnt trust it not to fail when youre like +10 miles from home or out in a remote area exercising or that it wont fail soonish. currently starting to ride my cheap sams club powerlite p-19 mtb(walmart bike basiclly) sadly its a full suspension otherwise id just swap a few parts and get a tuneup. well that and its too small but still. havent ridden it hard or anything(biggest thing done going off a curb) but surprisingly nothings broken or failed on it yet. if you dont have a bike and want to get back in theres 2 ways to do it. save and buy a bike you checked out and like and start or check out bikes still and buy a check walmart type or a pretty cheap 100-200 at most used bike like from craigslist/ebay/etc thats in the style of bike youre looking for and start to ride it to get back into it and possibly use to learn bike stuff on the cheap bike. which is what im going to use my old bike for when i get the new one.

  37. #37
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by EZSnow View Post
    Last fall I bought a new leftover Giant Yukon. It isn't as light as the xtc, but I've been told that the extra weight is due to thicker tubing- not a bad thing when you're packing a few extra lbs around the waist, right? It met the requirements laid out for me by a couple friends who know their stuff: Double-wall wheels, cassette/freehub (no freewheels), disc brakes, a rear derailleur free of plastic parts and proper fit.

    I was pushing 300# at that point, and a total noob when it comes to mountain biking. If you are heavy and just getting (back) into this deal, you are probably more likely to go over the bars and hurt your body than you are to huck it off a 3 foot drop and taco a wheel.... I know I was. Get SOMETHING, get out, and ride it.

    I have been working on upgrading my bike as I go- it was originally equipped with a Dart1 fork. While that model seems to have the rigidity of a wet noodle, I cranked up the preload and rode it- it served me well for learning. A friend gave me a Marz Dirt Jumper that has added some damping to the mix, as well as a 20mm through axle and tons of rigidity. It also required a new front wheel, so I bought a set. Slowly but surely, the bike is coming together, and I REALLY enjoy riding it.

    Skills are getting better, endurance is getting better, and the pounds are finally starting to disappear... just in time for winter.

    on edit- forgot to add that the bike was $550 about this time last year. Great time of year to get a good deal. Grab something, and RIDE!
    dam,,,the truest advice i've read on this forum yet no offense to anyone ,,,,i'm 6'6...380lbs,,,iused to ride with expereince riders back in 96-98...(only bout 270-290 then). Then i found the moto word....fast forward i was talked into a giant xtc 2 "09" was going to start riding again untill i brought a fixer upper home ...so here we are hundred lds heavier with a bike i really didnt want ,,i wantef a full suspension ,,,went to lbs ....laughed in my face about riding fs ,,said"big people wern't meant to ride fs.....okay new lbs guy suggrsted just maybe upgrafing the fork (dart 3) and riding ,,riding ,riding before spending anymore money......i respected that cause i was looking at a norco range xc 2012 @ 2700bucks , so like dori from finding nemo "just keep riding"

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